Licensed versus unlicensed casino operators in Sweden: Quick Intro

MOTALA, SWEDEN- 31 JANUARY 2021: A poker set with different chips, dice and decks of cards. Photo Jeppe Gustafsson

These days, there is an endless array of online casinos, both licensed and unlicensed, that one can choose from. Each of these casinos provides gamblers with different experiences but both licensed and unlicensed casinos are 100% legal for Swedish gamblers.  So if both licensed and unlicensed casinos are allowed to operate in Sweden, what are their differences?

Licensed casinos

A licensed casino in Sweden boasts a license from the Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen). Since licensed casinos are under the authority of the government, they tend to offer more enhanced player protections for gamblers.

Several factors set licensed casinos apart from their unlicensed counterparts. For instance:

One bonus per player

Licensed casinos in Sweden are only allowed to offer new players a limit of one bonus for every casino a new player joins. In comparison, unlicensed operators typically offer an array of bonus options to keep the guest loyal and enticed. That means that aside from the traditional welcome bonus, unlicensed casinos are also known to offer punters free spins, cashback, daily bonuses, and deals, as well as other juicy bonuses designed to keep them coming back.


All licensed casinos in Sweden are required by law to agree to Spelpaus, which is the country’s self-exclusion program. Punters that sign up for Spelpaus can block their access to online casinos for a specified period whether that’s one month or indefinitely. Once a gambler signs up for Spelpaus, they cannot access an online casino until the period ends.

Unlicensed casinos, on the other hand, are not subject to Spelpaus. Sure, some sites may have self-exclusion policies but they are not as stringent as Spelpaus.

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Deposit limits

Licensed casinos in Sweden have limits on the amount that an individual can deposit. Gamblers on licensed gambling sites can only deposit a maximum of SEK5,000 or $540. Unlicensed casinos alternatively allow their customers to deposit as much money as they would like.


Licensed casinos require their customers to provide a BankID, as well as their personal and financial information during the registration process. This isn’t usually a requirement for many unlicensed casinos, which are actually known for their anonymity.

For many years, Svenska Spel, the state-run company operating in the regulated gambling market had been the only company allowed to offer online gambling to gamblers in Sweden. That means that Svenska Spel had maintained a monopoly over online gambling products ranging from sports betting and casino games to slots and other games. Things changed in January 2019 when Sweden finally introduced new laws that ended the state monopoly.

Are there any advantages of sticking with licensed casino operators in Sweden?

Apart from the enhanced protection that players receive from licensed casino operators, licensed casinos also have other advantages that include:

No Taxation

Winnings from licensed casinos are not taxed. Unlicensed casinos, on the other hand, especially those with Curacao licenses, tend to tax winnings.

A wide selection of games

Licensed casinos in Sweden offer the highest quality games from well-known and trusted software providers such as Playtech, NetEnt, and Microgaming. That’s because these brands only work with regulated operators. As a result, unlicensed casinos typically have games from other lesser-known providers such as Habanero, Real Time Gaming, and Betsoft.

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What are unlicensed casinos in Sweden?

Unlicensed casinos or “casino Utan licens” refer to non-Swedish online operators that do not hold a license that has been issued by Spelinspektionen. Instead, unlicensed casino operators in Sweden of this caliber usually have a license or two from foreign regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Curaçao e-Gaming, or the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

Since the licensing authorities differ greatly from Spelinspektionen’s rules, it might appear illegal for a Swedish punter to register at an unlicensed casino but it isn’t. That’s because Spelinspektionen has no authority over foreign licensing bodies such as UKGC or MGA. As such, most unlicensed casinos that boast licenses from well-known bodies like MGA are completely legit and reliable for Swedish punters.

With authorities having extended the limit on how much Swedish bettors can gamble in online casinos throughout the pandemic, punters have increasingly been turning to unlicensed casinos for entertainment and as a way of escaping the limits that have been imposed by the government on licensed casinos in Sweden.

As things stand, the government has been forcing punters to limit their play. Additionally, bonuses have been limited to 100 crowns. During this challenging pandemic period, the authorities have been cracking down and blocking unlicensed gambling sites. Nonetheless, Swedish gamblers are still flocking to the ones they can find in their numbers.

That’s because most online gamblers look for player pools and betting odds that they like when looking for an online casino to gamble from. Consequently, most of these gamblers typically end up in unlicensed online casinos because they offer larger pools, better odds, and a wider array of high-quality games for a greater gambling experience. Various web aggregator sites have also made it rather easy for Swedish gamblers to find unlicensed casinos that they can trust. Click here for more details.

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Although the limits on online gambling were designed to help problem gamblers from further harm. It appears that the limits have done more harm than good with a large number of individuals turning to black market casino brands to avoid the government’s restraining gaming regulations.

Final Thoughts

The Swedish authorities may have introduced considerable restrictions in the wake of the pandemic to keep gamblers safe, but the move has done anything but. Rather than stick to the regulated online operators, gamblers have been turning to unlicensed casino operators in Sweden instead.

That’s because unregulated websites not only offer better bonuses, better odds, and better prizes but they are also much easier to access and are sometimes even visually better compared to the regulated ones. With this in mind, punters should always do their research carefully before settling on any online casino, regulated or unregulated.